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Conditions Associated With The Mouth

Causes Of Common Mouth Conditions

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The mouth is one of the most important parts of the body, playing a role in vital functions such as breathing, eating, speaking, and digestion. Improper dental hygiene can lead to a number of problems, which can affect your ability to eat, drink, or even smile. Patients who experience any of the following conditions should contact Gainesville dentists at Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry for diagnosis and treatment.

Cavities

Most people will experience at least one or two cavities in their lives. Cavities are caused by plaque build-up on the teeth and gum line that produces acid, destroying tooth enamel. Without treatment, cavities can spread infection to other parts of the mouth, possibly resulting in tooth loss. In most cases, dentists in Gainesville will treat cavities with fillings, but extreme cases may necessitate a dental crown. The most effective way to avoid cavities is by brushing and flossing daily.

Mouth Sores

Mouth sores in and around the mouth can be painful and unsightly. Cold sores, caused by a viral infection, can appear around the mouth on the lips, under the nose, and on the chin. These are painful, fluid-filled blisters that usually appear in clusters and are highly infectious. Cold sores heal in about a week but may recur throughout a patient’s lifetime. Canker sores appear inside the mouth. Unlike cold sores, canker sores are not contagious. There is no cure for canker sores, and the exact cause is unknown, but most canker sores heal on their own in a week. Fatigue, stress, and illness can increase the risk of canker sores. Mouth sores can also be caused by irritants inside the mouth such as loose braces wires, ill-fitting dentures, and broken teeth or fillings. Patients should schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible after developing a mouth sore. Your Gainesville dentist can diagnose the cause of the sore and recommend the most effective course of treatment.

Oral Thrush

Candidiasis, also known as thrush, is a yeast infection that occurs in the mouth. Thrush is caused by the yeast Candida albicans, which can flourish when the immune system is suppressed, after a round of antibiotic treatment, or when there is a lack of the normal bacteria in the mouth. Symptoms of thrush include painful white and red patches inside the mouth, which can interfere with the ability to taste. Thrush is most common in the very old and very young, patients suffering from diabetes or HIV, and patients who wear dentures. It can be treated with good oral hygiene and antifungal medications.

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, also referred to as gum disease, is caused by bacteria in the mouth that affect the health of the tissues and bones that support the teeth. Most gum disease is caused by plaque that accumulates on the teeth and leads to gingivitis. Left untreated, this can cause gums to recede from the teeth, resulting in further gum infection and even tooth loss. Signs of gum disease include sensitive or bleeding gums, loose teeth, bad breath, and receding gums. Treatment for gum disease ranges from a simple change in behavior, such as engaging in proper dental care, to surgical treatment such as tooth extraction. Patients who notice early warning signs of gum disease should contact their Gainesville dentist for treatment before the condition can progress.

Oral & Throat Cancer

Roughly 40,000 new cases of mouth and throat cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year. Because early stages of oral cancer don’t exhibit noticeable symptoms in most cases, regular dental checkups are the most effective way to detect oral and throat cancer. At every dental checkup in Gainesville, FL, your dental hygienist or dentist with conduct a visual scan for oral cancers.

Signs of oral cancer include:

Signs of throat cancer include:

While anyone can get cancer, patients who smoke or drink heavily are at higher risk.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, also known as TMJ or TMD, refers to a problem in the jaw joint that generally develops over an extended period. It may be caused by an injury to the jaw, diseases that affect the muscles or joints, tooth grinding or clenching, or anxiety.

Common symptoms of TMD include:

Regular appointments for general dentistry in Gainesville, FL, are necessary to identify precursors to TMD before symptoms worsen.

With proper oral hygiene and regular dentist appointments, patients can identify and treat common oral conditions before they become major problems. Contact Gainesville dentists at Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry today to schedule a checkup!

Toothache

While discomfort may come in varying degrees, continuous tooth pain should be treated by a dental professional who can assess the cause of the pain and how best to treat it. Toothaches can occur for a variety of reasons such as an item becoming lodged in your gums, a cracked tooth, tooth decay, bacterial infection, damaged filling, and more. Common symptoms may include:

Sometimes, the cause of a toothache will remedy itself after a few days. If possible, it’s best to be gentle to the affected area and avoid eating foods or drinks that are crunchy, hard, sweet, or very hot or cold while the toothache is present. To treat the issue, you can rinse your mouth out with warm salt water, apply a cold compress, or take over-the-counter pain relievers.

Stained Teeth

Lifestyle habits and age are the most common factors in extrinsic tooth stains. These are stains that appear on the surface of the tooth and can be caused by things such as smoking, drinking coffee or tea, wine, or soda. Regular dental cleanings are usually enough to remove most stains, though we also offer teeth whitening services for tougher stains. Intrinsic teeth stains are stains that have accumulated in the tooth enamel and usually happen earlier in life. These stains can be tough to treat and sometimes require veneers.

Chipped Or Cracked Teeth

Chipped teeth are one of the most common types of dental injuries that can happen to almost anyone. Eating hard foods, engaging in sports, or simply falling can all result in an unsightly chipped tooth. Thankfully, most of the time, a chipped tooth can easily be fixed with a crown, veneer, or bonding resin. A cracked tooth on the other hand may be a little more serious depending on the severity of the damage. A dentist may be able to save the tooth by performing a root canal and affixing a crown. However, if the crack runs beneath the gum line, you will most likely need to have the tooth removed to prevent infection and further damage.

Impacted Teeth

An impacted tooth is when an adult tooth doesn’t fully emerge from the gum line because it is stuck against another tooth, bone, or soft tissue. However, if the tooth doesn’t hurt and isn’t in a position to cause problems later down the line, a dentist may recommend leaving it alone. Wisdom teeth often become impacted and need to be removed through oral surgery, as leaving wisdom teeth alone can cause a variety of issues including:

Sensitivity To Cold

If your teeth are especially sensitive to cold foods or beverages to the point where it is uncomfortable or even painful, there may be underlying issues. While a specialty toothpaste or strip may be enough to fix the issue, you should still see a dentist to rule out any other possibilities that may require more extensive treatment. This can include needing a filling, root canal, or gum treatment, depending on the source of the issue.

Tooth Gap

Most often seen between the top two incisors, a gap between teeth tends to be a cosmetic concern that can be fixed with veneers or bonding. Your dentist can help you determine if seeing an orthodontist for braces would help remedy the gap.

Hyperdontia (Too Many Teeth)

Most adults have 32 teeth, but people who have hyperdontia have a varying number of additional teeth. This is often seen in people who have other conditions such as cleft palate or Gardner’s Syndrome. This overcrowding can cause pain, damage other teeth, and make for crooked teeth. Treatment is simple, with just the removal of the extra teeth and the orthodontic braces to fix the bite.

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